Can you contribute to environmental protection with a smartphone app? Pupils from the European School Munich thought about this and developed an app to help with recycling. After many weeks of work, they were able to present their prototype of "Symbol Planet" at the beginning of May. The development process was initiated and accompanied by "Technovation Girls", a worldwide tech entrepreneurship programme for girls aged 10 to 18, which is supported by the German Children and Youth Foundation.
An average household in Germany produces over 70 kg of packaging waste per year. But what exactly is the waste made of? And more importantly: where to put it? "Symbol Planet" aims to provide answers to these questions. The S6 pupils Lara Fachin and Virginia Ruscitto noticed that small symbols on packaging provide information about the material. But not everyone knows what the symbols actually mean. The students' app can be used to photograph such a symbol, which then provides a simple explanation of the material and recycling possibilities. But the idea alone is not enough. In "Technovation Girls", mentors who otherwise work in IT companies provide technical support and also strengthen entrepreneurial skills. At the end of the project, the students not only developed the prototype of the app, but also a detailed business plan on how it could be marketed and further developed.
A total of ten pupils from the European School Munich from the S3, S4 and S6 grades took part in the "Technovation Girls" programme. They also had other great ideas for further apps to solve social and ecological problems in the students' environment, even if not all of them could be developed further. For example, there were ideas for apps that would help against food waste, make it easier to give things away or strengthen women's rights.
It is great that the programme was able to combine two topics that are important to the European School Munich: Encouraging female students to take an interest in IT professions, in which women are underrepresented, and working on a project in the spirit of sustainable development. The European School Munich congratulates all participants on their work and thanks the mentors and the German Children and Youth Foundation for making "Technovation Girls" possible.
Update: The pupils were the only team from Germany to reach the semi-finals of "Technovation Girls" with the app "Symbol Planet".
- Technovation Girls International
- Programme page of the German Children and Youth Foundation (DE)
- Sustainable Development at the European School Munich